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“A handful of lucky Wilmington (NC) police officers will be going home with an antique shotgun,” reports, inaccurately. A simple Google search would have revealed that under United States Code, Title 18, Section 921(a)(16) an antique firearm is any firearm manufactured on or before 1898. In fact the 11 shotguns “gathering dust” at the Wilmington Police Department are Remington 870s, a long gun who’s lineage began in 1951. Now why, pray tell, would the Wilmington po-po and/or its media minions wish to mischaracterize the shotties as near-as-dammit ancient artifacts? First, let’s indulge in a bit more of that mischaracterization misegos . . .

The 12-gauge shotguns are decades old and have been rendered ill-suited for the contemporary police environment. Cpl. Brian Williams, the police department’s quartermaster, said they were yanked from the field years ago and replaced with more modern weaponry.

“They have been in use for approximately 20 to 25 years and are showing the abuse of those years,” City Manager Sterling Cheatham wrote in a memo to city council. “These weapons are still functional, but advancements in design and materials have rendered them to be not as suitable for our current requirements.”

Sure. I believe that. A twenty-year-old police 870 can’t hold a candle to a modern gun police scattergun like a  . . . Remington 870. So, why not you, know, sell them? And use the money for, I dunno, paying for new ones? Or, and I’m flying by the seat of my pants here, pay for underfunded police pension liabilities. Nope. Didn’t go down that way . . .

The shotguns are not being given away free, however. Rather, officers chosen during the random drawing will have the opportunity to purchase one for $100 plus a $10 fee to transfer the weapon into their name.

So why a lottery? “You only have a few of them,” Williams said, “and everybody wants a piece of Wilmington history.”

The 11 lucky winners have already been selected and have until next Friday to pay . If they fail to do so, another name will be chosen at random.

To quote Donkey in Shrek, oh! Pick me! Pick me! Note to North Carolina residents: your tax money hard at work. Or not.


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  1. I really don’t see a problem here. When my company upgrades laptops we can buy the old one (less the software.) When my wife gets a new company care she is eligoble to buy the old one at blue book value from the lease company. So where does the issue lay?

  2. If Ilm wasn’t so small, I think our local government would be considered amongst the great ones like Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore and Detroit.

  3. Excuse my ignorance, but how likely is it that these shotguns really need replacing? Do police typically fire significant numbers of shells, or are there other factors that would cause wear and tear and necessitating that they be removed from service? Could it possibly be cheaper for them to have a gunsmith repair/replace any worn components instead of buying new?

    Just curious, thanks.


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